A waterfall bong is extremely easy to make, requiring only a bowl or bong stem and a plastic bottle to make. Don’t get the waterfall bong confused with it’s cousin, the gravity bong, which is not the same thing. A gravity bong is kind of the same science, just in reverse, and with a different design. You will see what I mean.
What You Need:
1. Metal pipe bowl or bong stem
2. Plastic bottle
4. Your preferred marijuana strain
5. Drill or knife
I have heard of the waterfall also referred to as an aqua lung, a third lung, or in my circle of friends, simply ‘the liter.’ Whenever my friends or family want to ‘take a liter’ we always flash each other the ASL sign for the letter ‘L’. Very discrete, and has served us well in ninja situations!
Waterfalls get you extremely high from very little marijuana because of the amount of smoke inhaled all at once. How does this happen? Waterfalls are so effective with very little marijuana due to the shear amount of concentrated smoke filled with THC being forced into the lungs all at once. Also, because the bottle is air-tight the only air entering the bottle is smoke filled with THC.
To make a waterfall bong, start by making a a hole in the bottom or side of any plastic bottle. The 2-liter plastic bottle is the best, but a smaller plastic bottle will do, you will just get smaller hits. If you can find the elusive 3-liter bottle, especially the one with the wider mouth, you can make a ‘super waterfall’. *Note – a wide mouth cap is not compatible with other bottle sizes.* Make the hole about the size of a nickel, and as round as possible. This hole will be used to let the water out of the bottle and fill up the bottle with smoke from the marijuana being burned at the top.
I have made hundreds, if not over 1,000 waterfalls in my lifetime, and people always marvel at how well they function. There isn’t really a secret – the bottom hole is as perfectly round as possible and as directly in the middle of the bottom of the bottle as possible. This creates a streamlined flow as the water level drops, which doesn’t occur if the hole is on the side of the bottle or the hole is all jacked up.
Some people will just jab the side of the bottle with a knife, or poke the bottom with a burning hot screwdriver or some other ‘Macgyver abomination’ tactic. If you can use a drill, you will punch a hole very easily. I have mastered carving out the bottom hole with a knife, which is good too, but takes time. It’s worth it though. Make sure to keep the cap on the bottle to make handling the bottle easier when you are punching the hole. If the cap isn’t on the bottle, the bottle will collapse when you are trying to punch the hole, which can be a hazard situation as the knife or drill in your hand is going who knows which direction (likely towards your other hand!).
Now is the hardest part of the waterfall creation process – punching a hole in the bottle cap. I have been far from home many times, making a waterfall, with only one chance to punch a hole that was big enough to push the bottom of the metal pipe bowl through, yet small enough to remain air tight. I have tried to seal the bottle cap and bowl after the fact with just about every product out there, but when the bowl inevitably gets hot, the seal breaks again. If you can make the cap the correct way the right time, it is very beneficial.
My secret is making two very small cross slits using a knife. The slits need to be the diameter of the bottom of the bowl you are trying to punch through, that way it’s enough to push the bowl through it, but not enough to create air problems. You will recycle the bottles after a lot of use (in my case, almost weekly!), but the cap will stay with you forever. I refer to my cap bowl as ‘my precious’ which Ninjasmoker will attest to. It’s great for travel too, because you can get mega high when you get to your hotel, all you need is a new bottle with a hole in the bottom! The bowl cap is easy to hide.
Now that the waterfall is made, how the heck do we use this thing right? I can confidently say that I have taken more waterfalls than anyone else on the planet. Ninjasmoker will attest to that, and if anyone wants to challenge me to a title match, I’d gladly put my skills on display for those that are loading the finest :) The first thing you will do is obviously load the bowl. Don’t pack it too tight. I always tell people it’s better to take two medium waterfalls than one waterfall that’s clearly too big. Leaving smoke in the bottle is poor form. You will learn that some marijuana burns better in the waterfall format than others. Super dry burns too fast. Moist and/or dense nugs barely burn at all. I get a Jack the Ripper strain and Trainwreck strain here in Oregon that are PERFECT for the waterfall.
The next thing you will do is hold the bottle in one hand, with a finger plugging the bottom hole. With the other hand, turn on the water to fill up the bottle. If you are trying to conserve water, or if you are camping or something, you can dunk the waterfall bottle into the water as well. Whatever gets that sucker full. Be careful if you are doing the dunk method though, as you will go to light the lighter and get it wet, and be in a very frustrating position.
Screw the loaded bowl cap to the liter bottle full of water. With your off hand, light the bowl, while at the same time removing your finger that was plugging the bottom hole. If you do it right (not exactly hard!) you will see the bottle filling up with the milkiest smoke you have ever seen. This is why I prefer the waterfall to the gravity bong. With a gravity bong, it takes wrist control and skill to get a milky hit, and then you have to take a hit that runs the high risk of getting dirty water in your mouth. A waterfall is clean water every time, unless you are using the dunk method. Also, anyone who can hold the bottle can get a milky hit every time (sometimes too milky!). You still get water in your mouth from time to time, but it’s not nearly as bad as with the gravity bong.
All that is left is to unscrew the cap, grip it, and rip it! Waterfalls really conserve the herb, which is a good thing in this economy right? How much did your last ‘quad’ cost? Egads. Below are some waterfall tips and tricks that I have learned over the years. If readers have anything to add, please do so in the comments below so that others can benefit from your expertise:
1. Become familiar with water levels – You want to get a big hit, but not too big of a hit to where the water is gone or almost gone, and the smoke is all stale. If you like stale smoke, then by all means go for it, but I don’t. If you are taking a small waterfall hit, let the water go a bit so you have less water in the bottle to decrease the chances of water getting in your mouth.
2. No warm water – I repeat, no warm water. As cold as possible. Warm waterfalls are the worst.
3. If possible, no shake – Shake is fine in a joint, not bad in a pipe, kind of harsh in a bong, and REALLY harsh in a waterfall. ‘Piecing’ together small nugs to make a liter can be problematic as well, unless it’s really high grade.
4. Melting bowl cap – If your bowl gets too hot, toss that sucker in the freezer. Smoking melted plastic is no bueno.
5. Be careful with newbies – A waterfall invades your lungs with smoke so ferociously sometimes, that it can put the hurt on rookies. Proceed with caution. On the flip side, if someone is talking a big game about how they are ‘big smoke dogg’ then give them a waterfall and see what they do. I’ve seen many rookies get exposed when I’m on my third waterfall of the session and they are still recovering from their first one :)